55,000 skins seized in Mumbai
21st December 2005
One of the largest seizures of snake skins in history took place in
Mumbai on Tuesday, 20 December 2005. A staggering number of over 55,000
reptile skins were seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence at
the Mumbai Port. The skins had been concealed in 80 jute bags that were
booked for export to Singapore and marked as red chillies. The shipment
is said to be worth 3 crores (US$ 640,000).
Officers from the Deputy Director Wildlife Western Region's office spent
hours counting the skins. They were stunned by the volume of the
consignment. At least three species of snakes have been identified -
python, cobra and rat snake.
Three people have been detained and the Wildlife Protection Society is
assisting the authorities with information on reptile traders in